Photo provided by CCHS student, Courtney Hile
The BIG Ideas become BIG Goals: “The Big Goal” Collaborative
The Big Goal Collaborative (BGC) works to increase the number of Northeast Indiana residents with a high quality degree or credential to 60 percent by 2025 – “The Big Goal.” The BGC is actively convening individuals and groups to develop the plan to reach this goal. The Big Goal expands on the original progress made through the Talent Initiative, which was established with a $20 million grant from the Lilly Endowment. The Talent Initiative focused on accelerating education and training initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to provide a skilled workforce for area employers. The Big Goal is a cradle-to-career effort to help improve educational and career outcomes for children and adults in Northeast Indiana.
Vision 2020 Initiative
After benchmarking successful regions, we found there’s a need for a diverse and comprehensive approach in our economic and community development. We know that no one focus area—or pillar, if you will—can effectively transform the economy of Northeast Indiana. It’s all about balance. By recognizing the importance of each individual pillar and seeing how the pillars work together, real progressive changes can occur.
Each Vision 2020 pillar is supported by regional priorities. These priorities are actionable strategies to support our five pillars and our mission to increase business investment in Northeast Indiana. Those pillars include:
21st Century Talent
This pillar focuses on workforce skills for a knowledge-based economy, an excellent education system, workforce retraining, a strong regional work ethic, and collaboration among businesses and educational institutions.
Competitive Business Climate
This pillar encompasses globally competitive industry clusters, a diversified economy with a strong manufacturing base, a business-friendly tax and regulatory climate, and a strong regional brand.
Our third pillar’s focus is on access to venture capital; a strong regional innovation center; formalized entrepreneurship training opportunities; and support services, including research, product development, and marketing.
The infrastructure pillar zeroes in on regional planning that connects land use, transportation, and infrastructure investments. It also includes affordable energy, enhanced freight, public transit, increased shovel-ready development sites, and expanded broadband service.
Quality of Life
Our final pillar embraces vibrant downtowns, the unique character of communities in the region, the stewardship of natural resources, enhanced arts and culture, and development.